[e2e] end2end-interest Digest, Vol 53, Issue 10
keshav at uwaterloo.ca
Wed Jul 9 18:36:54 PDT 2008
On Jul 5, 2008, at 3:00 PM, John Day wrote:
> As the field grew, some researchers
> forgot the "we assume Poisson although we know it isn't" proviso or
> assumed everyone knew it and others started to believe it.
If you want to get a quick estimate of the number of cows in a field,
assuming spherical--or oblate spheroidal--cows is perfectly
reasonable. But then, other papers will cite yours and (mis)use this
assumption to compute how much to feed them and how loud they moo.
When enough papers make this assumption, some misguided soul will be
unable to imagine non-spherical cows.
Moral: Beware of sacred cows.
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